SEEKING THE CITY
This year’s ACSA conference is being held in Houston. Lars Lerup, the dean of the RSA, gave an introduction to the first keynote lecture by Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen.
Michaele Pride and Dietmar Froehlich - This year's conference co-chairs.
Richard Sennett, an urbanist and a sociologist, spoke on the barriers of modern capitalism in developing craftsmanship. His perspective on the abuse of CAD and value in learning from resistance within the design process was particularly interesting to the students in the audience. He also spoke about the challenge of dealing with perfectionism and its potentially counterproductive contribution to the craft of practice. He contrasted the work of Adolf Loos and the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who designed and built a house in Vienna for his sister. The only building designed by Wittgenstein, was intended to crystallize his philosophy of architecture. In retrospect he wished he had built more and spent less time obsessing over perfection.
It was also interesting to hear that it takes 10,000 hours to ingrain a habit of labor into a craft to the point that it becomes an unconscious act.
Note - Sir Peter Cook, bottom right of image in a yellow shirt. Entry on Peter Cook Lecture at Rice to follow.